Microsoft and the open source community once staunchly occupied opposite sides of the IT spectrum. Recently, though, both are enjoying a cozy overlap.
This week during its Connect(); 2016 developer event in New York City, Microsoft announced it had joined the Linux Foundation as a Platinum member. Not stopping there, the company revealed that both Google and Samsung were helping to bolster its own .NET open-source community.
Even the company's database software is getting in on the act.
In March, Microsoft revealed plans to release a version of SQL Server that runs on Linux sometime in 2017. Today, organizations interested in such deployments can get an early glimpse on how their SQL Server database workloads operate under this new operating system environment.
"Now you can also develop applications with SQL Server on Linux, Docker, or macOS (via Docker) and then deploy to Linux, Windows, Docker, on-premises, or in the cloud," Sirosh said in a Nov. 16 announcement. "This represents a major step in our journey to making SQL Server the platform of choice across operating systems, development languages, data types, on-premises and the cloud."
The preview also includes enhancements to the platform's R-based analytics and data science capabilities, he added. (Microsoft acquired Revolution Analytics, the R statistical programming language's biggest supporter, last year.) By employing the company's research on machine learning and deep neural network, the updated software can now handle larger analytics workloads with increased speed.
Microsoft also announced the general availability of SQL Server 2016 Service Pack 1 (SP1).
For the first time, the update roundup features "a consistent programming model across SQL Server editions," streamlining coding tasks, said Sirosh. Now, developers can build applications that target the Enterprise, Standard and Express editions of SQL Server and seamlessly move up the product portfolio as their scalability demands increase.
On the cloud front, the company also announced the general availability of Azure Data Lake Analytics and Azure Data Lake Store.
Azure Data Lake Analytics is Microsoft's data transformation and processing platform for applications using .NET, Python, R and U-SQL. According to the company, a few lines of code is all it takes for organizations to exploit its petabyte-scale data processing capabilities. Azure Data Lake Store, Microsoft's big data cloud analytics data solution, adheres to the popular HDFS (Hadoop Distributed File System) standard, enabling businesses to unearth insights from trillions of files.
Organizations contemplating Microsoft's cloud-based NoSQL service, DocumentDB, can now take it for a spin without committing to an Azure plan courtesy of the new DocumentDB Emulator. "Using the DocumentDB Emulator, you can develop and test your application locally without an internet connection, without creating an Azure subscription, and without incurring any costs," said Sirosh.
Other new releases this week include R Server for Azure HDInsight, the company's cloud-based Hadoop distribution, and a preview of the open-source Kafka streaming ingestion service for HDInsight. Finally, Operational Analytics for Azure SQL Database, a database service that enables both Online Analytical Processing (OLAP) and Online Transaction Processing (OLTP) on the same tables simultaneously, is now available.